Rotterdam has been forced to walk back the dismantling of a historic bridge to make way for Jeff Bezos’s superyacht. But the incident is a reminder that billionaires’ obscene wealth isn’t just about hoarding resources — it’s also about undermining democracy.
Source: Revulsion Against Billionaire Wealth Isn’t About “Envy.” It’s About Democracy.
The obscene wealth of the world’s billionaires doesn’t just mean they get to lead lives of luxury. It also means they have almost complete control of the economy — control that is fundamentally undemocratic and unjust.
Source: Billionaires’ Absurd and Growing Wealth Undercuts Democracy
Marking the 12th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark Citizens United decision, the advocacy group Americans for Tax Fairness on Friday published a report showing that U.S. billionaires dumped a staggering $1.2 billion into the 2020 elections—a 39-fold increase compared to 2010.
Source: ‘Time for Citizens United to Go’: US Oligarchs Poured $1.2 Billion Into 2020 Elections
Many claimed early in the pandemic that COVID-19 would flatten inequality in a deeply unequal world. Luckily for the ultrarich, central banks stepped in, making the global elite richer than ever.
Source: The Central Banks Made the Superrich Even Richer During the Pandemic
New data shows that Elon Musk’s fortune grew by 750% during the pandemic. It’s not because he worked 750% harder than the rest of us.
Source: US Billionaires Got 70% More Wealth Under COVID. They Didn’t Deserve Any of It.
Big business doesn’t vote, small business does. That’s the dilemma for Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg as they try to keep JobKeeper secret heading into the election. Michael West reports.
Source: Political Dynamite: JobKeeper for billionaires a campaign wrecker for Morrison, Frydenberg – Michael West Media
It’s been quite the innings for some of Australia’s wealthiest billionaires. Certain large proprietary companies owned by the establishment – Secret Rich-Listers as we call them – have been cloaked in darkness by government legislation for more than a quarter of a century. Luke Stacey reports how South Australian Senator Rex Patrick is fighting to buck the trend and demolish Australia’s Secret Rich List once and for all.
Source: Where there’s a bill there’s a way: Rex Patrick’s dogged fight against Coalition to repeal billionaires’ loophole – Michael West
The billionaire class isn’t just a group of people who happen to be superrich. It’s a dynastic oligarchy with a single overriding objective: controlling the government to protect its inherited wealth.
Source: You Can Have Billionaires or You Can Have Democracy
Trumpster comes out swinging for Billionaires
Senator Bernie Sanders has proposed a wealth tax on the richest Americans, blasted big businesses for turning huge profits while paying little in taxes and said he believed billionaires should not exist.
After his win in Tuesday’s Democratic primary in New Hampshire solidified Sanders’ status as a contender for the nomination, one Wall Street billionaire fired back.
Former Goldman Sachs chief Lloyd Blankfein has lashed out at Bernie Sanders.
Former Goldman Sachs chief Lloyd Blankfein has lashed out at Bernie Sanders.Credit:Bloomberg
Lloyd Blankfein, the former Goldman Sachs chief executive, took aim at Sanders on Twitter, saying the Vermont senator would “ruin our economy” if elected president.
He added that Sanders did not care about the military and was just as polarising as President Donald Trump.
via Bernie Sanders would ‘ruin our economy’ says Lloyd Blankfein
Australia has 16 extra billionaires this year, taking the total to a record 76, with carboard and recycling magnate Anthony Pratt again topping the list of the nation’s wealthiest.
The nation’s richest 200 people, as calculated by the Financial Review, held a record $283 billion in wealth, up 21 per cent on last year.
It took a personal fortune of $387 million to make the list this year, up significantly from $341 million last year.
But the average wealth of Australia’s 200 richest people was $1.41 billion.
Apartment developer Harry Triguboff ($12.8 billion) and Gina Rinehart ($12.7 billion) were just behind Mr Pratt, with Hong Kong-based property magnate Hui Wing Mau ($9.1 billion) and Westfield shopping centre billionaire Frank Lowy ($8.4 billion) rounding out the top five richest Australians.
The chief economist at left-leaning think tank The Australia Institute, Richard Denniss, said it is no surprise that the number and wealth of billionaires has surged.
“It’s a good time to be a billionaire in Australia,” he said.
via Rich List: Billionaires multiply as profits surge, wages stall – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
There’s a new Koch organization in town. Instead of trying to buy politicians to do the bidding of billionaires, as Charles and David Koch have historically done, this foundation will support community groups trying to cure the miseries of eons—everything from poverty to addiction.
And they’ve got some street cred, having successfully worked with renowned liberal Van Jones to secure legislation to reduce mass incarceration. Billionaire Charles Koch says the mission is this: “We must stand together to help every person rise.”
That is some good stuff, right there. It’s what labor unions have always preached—workers must stand together to gain the collective power essential to pull every one of them up. It works, too. In the middle of the last century, collective bargaining created the great American middle class.
Here’s the thing: Maybe it’s nice that some billionaires are willing to give. But billionaires’ “gifts” too often bear self-dealing strings. And handouts make many workers queasy anyway. They’d rather earn their own money and make their own decisions.
For Americans to achieve real freedom and self-governance, some of the billions that flow into the pockets of the already rich must go instead into the paychecks of the workers whose sweat creates profits. Political bribes, like the $500,000 the Kochs gave Ryan, must be outlawed. And the rich must be properly taxed so that the nation can afford to pave its roads, send its youngsters to affordable, properly government-supported technical schools and colleges, and restore its once-great middle class. American workers want autonomy, not charity, to help every person rise.
via Beware Billionaires Bearing Gifts | The Smirking Chimp
By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – – Trump’s petulant tweet storm on Saturday accused Puerto Ricans of wanting …
Source: Trump’s Billionaire Cronies feed at Public Trough as he disses Puerto Rico
Australia has a disproportionate share of the world’s billionaires.
Source: The way Australian billionaires earn their wealth
By Nomi Prins | (Tomdispatch.com) | – – Speaking of the need for citizen participation in our national politics in …
Source: The “Democracy” of Billionaires & the Most Expensive Election ever Bought (Except for Bernie Sanders) | Informed Comment